New Year's Eve

The big Year Ahead

From all of us at big Burrito, thank you for making 2018 so rewarding. We had a great time sharing four pasta dinners at Casbah, the biggest KayaFest yet, fun new dishes at Soba, exceptional seasonal tasting menus at Eleven, our ongoing series of benefit dinners and a celebration of Mad Mex's first 25 years.

Looking ahead, we've got some exciting things planned for the first half of the year. The worst kept secret is our new project in Fox Chapel. We've been coyly reticent with our plans for the concept as we complete our development phase, but that's all about to change! Look for a big reveal in the coming days.

As always, we're thrilled to have you along for the ride, and we never forget that you're the ones who make this inspiring journey possible. See you for dinner in 2019!

 
Eat.big
 

The big Burrito Restaurant Group newsletter | January 2019

 
Mad Mex

New Year, New Menu

Our first menu of the year brings three new dishes and two returning favorites.

Chicken Parmesan Tacos - Crispy buttermilk-marinated fried chicken tenders drizzled with a mild red pepper sauce then topped with Monterey Jack cheese, banana pepper rings and a sprinkling of fresh basil.

The Big BurritoRoasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Quesadilla - Roasted Brussels sprouts, crispy black pepper bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeño jelly.

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas - Mexican pierogies filled with grilled chicken, cream cheese, bleu cheese crumbles and our Classic Buffalo wild wing sauce.

The Big Burrito - (pictured) The best selling of last fall's Plataversary dishes, this San Diego burrito returns with grilled chicken breast, flank steak, corn, Jack cheese, waffle fries and garlicy pepper sauce. Topped Nachos Grande-style with lettuce, pico, guacamole and sour cream.

Kale Salad - OK, OK, you can have your Kale Salad back. Sheesh. Baby kale with grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, Cotija cheese, avocado, pepitas and quinoa all tossed in lime-cilantro vinaigrette and topped with chicken breast, flank steak or portobello.

 

Creative brews from Dogfish Head

January 10-24, unless we run out

Perfect DisguiseSam Calagione and the legion of crafty brewermasters at Dogfish Head never stop trying new things, as these two beers attest.

The Perfect Disguise Double IPA—part of the seasonal Off-Centered Ales Seriesis a double dry-hopped American IPA brewed with German Chit malt, loaded with tropical flavors and a crisp Kölsch-like finish. ABV: 8% | IBU: 70

SeaQuench Ale is a sessionable mash-up of a crisp Kölsch, a sour Gose and a tart Berliner Weiss brewed with black limes and sea salt. As the brewery notes, it's the fastest growing beer in Dogfish Head history and the fastest growing sour in the country. ABV: 4.9% | IBU: 10

We're featuring both of these in oversized 22oz drafts for $5, or half off in pints during Happy Hora.

 
Casbah

Winter Festa di Pasta

Monday-Thursday, January 14-17

You might think with four Festas di Pasta per year that we'd run out of new noodle shapes to try. But here comes the Winter menu and Lumache shells (named for looking like snail shells) with braised chicken and mizuna, or Radiatore (named for their radiator shape) with beef bolognese and fennel. The dishes range from recognizable to recondite, but all beckon to be sampled and enjoyed. Reservations are recommended. 412.661.5656

 
Eleven

Winter Tasting Menu

Monday through Sunday, January 28-February 3

We’re celebrating winter with a cozy five-course, seven-day tasting menu to warm you up! Start your journey with roasted beets, followed by sea scallops, with a cavatelli thrown in for good measure and extra warming energy. Finish with prime ribeye followed by cornmeal sponge cake. When consumed correctly, this meal should get you to spring. Reservations suggested: 412.201.5656

 
Kaya

Vegetarian Prix Fixe

January 16

Newly christened Kaya Executive Chef Marty Sons' first vegetarian dinner of the year embraces both root staples of winter and sunny dishes from warmer climes. That range brings you Roasted Beets with greens and citrus vinaigrette, or vegan Falafel with black garlic dipping sauce and seared eggplant, and more. Reservations suggested: 412.261.6565

An introduction is in order

Marty Sons has been with big B for six years at Casbah, two as a line cook and four as sous chef. He is excited for the opportunity to assume a larger role in the company and have fun at Kaya, following a long line of successful Pittsburgh chefs in that position. He is married with 2 kids. He is a Leo.

 

 big Burrito Benefit Dinners

January 2019

We hope you can join us as we give back to our communities with these special benefit dinners. Follow the links for more about these organizations, or request an evening for your cause.

Casbah January 24 Dilworth Traditional Academy
Eleven January 10 Quantum Theatre
Soba January8 Allegheny County Parks Foundation
Mad Mex Robinson January 15 National MS Society
Mad Mex Shadyside January 8 Friends of CAPA
  January 29 Pavers DBA Day One Project

Dinner with Neighbors

A new series of benefits held in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh

Eleven January 1 Dinner
Casbah February 10 Brunch
 
Fuller

 Food trends for 2019

big Chef Bill Fuller, January 2019

Every year, the food industry and media come out with lists of things that will be the trends in the upcoming year. Sometimes the writers are correct—kale has been a “thing” for a few years now—while sometimes they miss the boat. Did anyone out there seriously begin to intentionally incorporate insects into their diets in 2018? No, you didn’t. I imagine that bold new source of healthy protein will have to wait a year or two.

I do my best to read as many of these articles as I can stand to assess what might be coming in the next year and how we as a company might prepare for it. But sorting through needs to be done because some of it is just not pertinent. Here are some things I have seen and how I feel about it:

  1. Mushrooms – both as a health supplement and as an ingredient, I see mushrooms on the rise. My kids, however, still haven’t learned to eat them. But maybe they will in 2019. Mushrooms as supplements are described as “adaptogens”. Adaptogens are supplements that adapt to what your body needs when you eat them. They are also supposed to reduce stress. Don’t tell my kids this when they discover that I have snuck mushrooms into a meal.
  2. Lab MeatLab-Engineered Meat – I love the idea of this. I look forward to the growth of this industry. Imagine being able to engineer fatty delicious Waygu beef without all that tedious massaging. Just pull it out of the clone tank. But the technology is nowhere close to making meat in a lab at all affordable. And I imagine fatty Waygu is not the intention as well. I can only believe they will focus on engineering 100% fat free pork.
  3. Mediterranean Diet – I always love this. It has been on lists for 20 years. I think the FDA pays to get this way of eating included to somehow encourage us to eat better and be healthier as a country. I love the Mediterranean diet full of vegetables, olive oil, fish, and small amounts of bread, dairy, and fatty meats. Except those last 3 things. I have those in my diet in large amounts.
  4. CBD and THC in food – Bring it on! However, due to the slow onset of activity of eaten marijuana psychoactives, sharing THC-infused wild boar with mushroom fricassee with your friends will not get you high with them but will lead to you freaking out on your drive home an hour later. And, it still is not legal in PA. I pick us to be well into the bottom 25 of the states for legalized recreational marijuana. I’m thinking number 37.
  5. Drinking Collagen – That sounds disgusting. Even more disgusting is dumping collagen powder into your Natural Sugar Green Tea because collagen will make your skin look younger. Having eaten powdered gelatin, I cannot imagine this is delicious. Get collagen the old fashioned way, by having a nice bowl of chicken soup. But not Chicken Bone Broth. “Bone Broth” was a term created to sell perfectly normal chicken stock for $12/quart. And it was on the list for 2018.
  6. Oatmilk? More like Nopemilk.Oat Milk – I imagine somewhere there will be a violent war between Oat Milk and the assembled Nut Milks this year for supremacy of the “Mostly Really Disappointing Milk Substitute” title. However, all these substitute milks taste better than the Carnation Instant Milk I had to drink when I was a kid. You knew money was tight when you had weeks of powdered milk.
  7. Better Packaging/Reduced Plastics – I really hope this one grows. However, many consumers are unaware that the biodegradable carryout containers and non-plastic straws are many times more expensive than the types we have been accustomed to using. Additionally, nearly all of them are made in China and have skyrocketed in price as trade relations have deteriorated. I sure look forward to some good old Yankee Ingenuity discovering inexpensive, biodegradable, sturdy, and attractive straws and carryout containers. Any Material Scientists have some free time on their hands?
  8. Plant-Based Eating – This has been a recurring theme in these lists over the past few years. I am a big supporter of it, as I like to eat plants. I also believe that if I eat more plants, and not potato plants fashioned into French fries or corn plants fashioned into soda pop, that I will become healthier.
  9. Some things on the “Out” list that I won’t miss:
    1. Cold brew coffee – It isn’t bad but it just isn’t coffee.
    2. Avocado toast – Totally delicious, but just too “everywhere”.
    3. Fermented everything – Please, let’s give it some rest. I love kim chi as much as the next guy, but fermented mustard seeds really don’t make any sense.
    4. Insects – They really aren’t on the out list, I just don’t want to eat them.
    5. Bone Broth – It is Stock, ya jags. Chicken Stock. Beef Stock.

So good eating in 2019. As far as my list, I will be all over 1, 3, 7, and 8. As far as 4, I might but can’t tell you if I did. Definitely will be chasing after more veggies and The Mediterranean diet. As long as I can keep ice cream.

Recipes: Dishes With Veggies (Warm French Green Lentils in Pancetta Vinaigrette; Sliced Brussels Sprout Salad; and Roasted Carrots with Ricotta, Blood Orange, Garlic and Pistacios). See these recipes in action on

 
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